Doctor fined $10k for sharing premises with wife's skin and body care firm

SINGAPORE - A doctor who shared his premises with his wife's skin and body care company - which sold its products to his patients - has been fined $10,000 by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC).

Dr Kelvin Goh Yong Chiang was working at Orchard M.D. Clinic and Surgery which provides aesthetic treatment at Ngee Ann City Tower , in 2014.

The SMC found that his surgery was selling non-medical products from SkintechMD, which was run by his wife. At that time, Dr Goh had a small share of her business.

Dr Goh pleaded guilty to a charge of breaking the doctors' code of conduct - namely that he had "inappropriately associated" himself and/or "supported the services provided by a person not qualified to provide medical or medical support services".

An SMC disciplinary tribunal said such improper conduct brings disrepute to the profession.

It dismissed his mitigation that he had done so unknowingly, as "disingenuous", as ignorance of the law was no excuse.

In its grounds of decision released on Wednesday (May 30), the tribunal pointed out that Dr Goh and his wife, who owned the other company, would have benefited directly from the association.

It said that the doctor proactively selling SkintechMD's products was an aggravating factor, as was his having been in practice for more than 25 years.

Dr Goh was also censured and undertook not to engage in similar conduct. He must pay the costs incurred by the SMC for hearing.

The complaint against him was made by another doctor, a previous partner with whom he has been in dispute for several years. It includes a lawsuit that was settled by the Appellate Court last year, which found Dr Goh Pui Kiat, the former partner and complainant, guilty of wrongly taking patient data from their then joint clinic.